Western Australia — November 2018

A message from your Regional Committee Chair

Dear Fellows and trainees,

Welcome to the latest edition of the Western Australia (WA) eBulletin.  

The new WA Regional Committee, for the term 2018 – 2020, held its first meeting on 29 August 2018. A planning meeting was held on 17 October. Committee members are detailed below, with a significant number of members returning for a second term in addition to some new faces.

A priority for the committee is ensuring the health and wellbeing of our members. Significant effort and resources have been dedicated to this purpose by the College to improve physician wellbeing and a number of resources are available.

The RACP support helpline, via Converge International, has been developed to provide members with access to confidential counselling, coaching and support for workplace and personal issues, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are a number of other support services for health professionals that can be accessed.

The WA Regional Committee is committed to supporting our physicians in their training journey and beyond. I urge all members to be aware of these services and share them with colleagues and trainees. 
The Regional Committee has been active in the promotion of events for members in WA. These include the recent Advanced Trainee Forum, Rural Physicians Workshop and Trainee Research awards evening. Early in 2019 we will host a Basic Trainee event and New Fellows Event following Congress in May.

The new Committee will carry on the work of previous committees with a commitment to working with the College to improve services to members.

Working cooperatively with employer representatives in WA to develop robust workforce planning and career planning tools for members,  and developing relationships with other medical education providers to advocate for trainees in all settings, are additional priorities for the term of this committee.

If you have any suggestions as to events or topics of interest please contact the regional office on RACPWA@racp.edu.au

I look forward to seeing many of you at RACP Congress 2019 in Auckland.

If you have any contributions for the Western Australian Committee, please email us at RACPWA@racp.edu.au 

Dr Helen Rhodes
Chair, WA Regional Committee

WA Regional Committee composition updates

Elections for the Western Australian Regional Committee Term 2018-2020 have been completed and all nominated positions have been filled.

The process for appointment of representatives for Divisions, Faculties and Chapters is ongoing.

WA Regional Committee members are:

  • Dr Helen Rhodes (Chair)
  • Dr Angela Graves
  • Dr Anthony Mylius
  • Dr Murali Nayaranan
  • Dr Venkat Kodali
  • Dr P.K. Loh (AMD)
  • Dr Kristen Lindsay (trainee rep)
  • Dr Lee Fairhead (trainee rep)
  • Dr Mike Lucas AFOEM
  • Dr Tina Bertiloni AFPHM

A vacancy exists on the WA Regional Committee for an appointed member to represent AFRM or any of the Chapters or Societies. For more information contact RACPWA@racp.edu.au 

Introducing your new Regional Committee member Dr Angela Graves

Dr Angela Graves (pictured) trained at Royal Free and University College Medical School in London, before migrating to Australia in 2006 and completing advanced training in General Medicine and Nephrology. 

She currently works full-time in Rockingham General Hospital and is particularly committed to holistic care, partnering with and empowering patients, avoidance of readmissions and healthcare associated injury and evidence based management of chronic kidney disease.

Members share their stories at Conference

The Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association (AIDA) conference was held in Perth at the Crown Patrick Tobin and Associate Professor Mark LaneTowers from September 24 to 28.

RACP President Associate Professor Mark Lane and President-Elect Professor John Wilson attended. They were joined by Indigenous RACP members and College staff.

The RACP facilitated a concurrent session on five ways to improve Indigenous health as a specialist. Two of our key strategies are prioritising Indigenous leadership within the College and improving the retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees and doctors.

Pictured: RACP Policy & Advocacy Director Patrick Tobin and RACP President Associate Professor Mark Lane

In this workshop we showcased RACP specialty training pathways that can be undertaken and promoted the importance of Indigenous leadership in creating culturally safe and equitable health services. Facilitated by Professor John Wilson, the session explored personal narratives and what motivated panel members to choose specialty training, their day to day experiences and why specialty training can be an inspiring career choice

The session included a panel of both Indigenous RACP members, trainees and specialists, and those delivering services in remote and rural settings to primarily indigenous populations.

Panel members included:

  • Dr Luke Burchill
  • Dr Melissa Caroll
  • Dr Angela Dos Santos
  • Dr Elkie Hull
  • Dr Simon Quilty (via Videoconference from Katherine)

The session honed in on the lived experience of Indigenous doctors/physicians, those working in settings with primarily Indigenous clients and the impact that the panel felt they had made on the Indigenous population.

Panel members also explored the significance of being an Indigenous doctor, sharing their unique perspectives and enlightening colleagues with little experience of Indigenous health.

The take home message from both the AIDA event and the RACP session was not to underestimate the impact of culture on our ability to impact health outcomes in Indigenous populations.

The College’s Medical Specialist Access Framework and Indigenous Health Scholarships and Prizes available from the RACP Foundation were also promoted during the conference.

To learn more about the work of AIDA, visit the AIDA website.

Connecting rural and metro specialists

The seventh annual Rural Physician's Workshop was held at St Catherine’s College in Nedlands from Rural Physicians 1 Saturday, 3 to Sunday, 4 November with 30 attendees and 14 invited speakers.

This event gave rural physicians a unique opportunity to get updates on areas of specific interest from metro specialists working in large tertiary centres. Topics such as pain management, antibiotic stewardship, cardiology and nephrology were explored.

The organising committee for 2018 had a particular interest in rural training opportunities and convened a panel of employer and training organisation representatives to explore opportunities for trainees in rural and remote settings. The follow up commitments from this session will see a coherent approach to increasing opportunities and improving the training experience outside the metro area.

Establishing links between rural practitioners and metro specialists is one of the most importantRural Physicians 2 aspects of the forum. The establishment of the Rural Physicians Network in 2017 has seen a significant increase in the profile of rural medicine and the unique and important role it plays in the health system

The Golden Teaspoon award for the presentation most likely to impact direct clinical practice went to Dr John Balendra and his team for their work on the Rural Physician Training Rotations Project.

Feedback on the sessions was overwhelmingly positive and planning is already underway for next year with speakers being approached and suggestions for topics already being explored.

Pictured: Panel members Dr David Oldham, Mr Tim Shackelton, Dr  Tony Robins, Dr Andrew Kirke and Dr Kirsten Auret.

Supporting Advanced Trainees

The annual Advanced Trainee Information Evening was held in October to provide information for those seeking to enter Advanced Training and those approaching Fellowship.

Early and prospective Advanced Trainees had an opportunity to find out about career path opportunities, overseas training, research, portfolio development and work-life balance.

Those approaching Fellowship had an opportunity to discuss medico-legal issues for new specialists, developing a referral base, Medicare processes and career options in public or private practice.

The event featured a panel of rural practitioners, including a member joining via videoconference who discussed the attraction of rural practice with trainees and encouraged them to explore that option.

The sessions contained invaluable advice for career planning, development and opportunities.

The take home message from every speaker was that personal care and wellness were vital components for physicians to be able to provide the best possible care to their patients.

Trainee Research Awards Adult Medicine

The Trainee Research Awards for Western Australia, in the field of Adult Medicine, were held at the  Regional Office on Wednesday, 10 October.

Judges Dr Murali Nayaranan and Dr P.K Loh commended the trainees on both the standard of the research presented and the outstanding professionalism and skill of the presenters in delivering their findings.

Dr Sam Salman won the award for his presentation: A population pharmacokinetic study of benzylpenicillin following benzathine benzylpenicillin administration in children and adolescents with rheumatic heart disease: new insights for improved secondary prophylaxis strategies.


Pictured: Dr Murali Nayaranan, Dr PK Loh (Judges) Dr Sam Salman (Winner), Dr Cara Winnall and Dr Nick Si Rui Lan.

Let us know what you're looking for

The RACP Regional Committee is committed to ensuring our trainees are fully supported. The Committee would like to host a wellness and stress management event for members with a practical, hands-on focus.

Members are encouraged to suggest sessions they would like to try. Yoga and meditation, or things you have found useful, can be incorporated into the program.

Support for your wellbeing

The RACP's Support Program, Converge International, is a professional and confidential counselling service, available to all RACP members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It provides members with access to confidential counselling, coaching and support for workplace and personal issues.

You can arrange to speak directly with a Senior Converge International Consultant face-to-face, over the phone or via the internet.

To make an appointment, or to speak with a RACP Support Program consultant, call 1300 687 327.

Explore discounted dining and attraction offers near you

To save on dining, leisure activities and entertainment benefits, use the benefits map on your RACP benefits website. Once you are logged in, simply click “Benefits Near Me” to bring up a range of offers and venues available around your location. Member Advantage

Traveling somewhere? Move the map to your destination to discover the local offers. Then click on Redeem to access your discounts on the chosen benefits or to bring up the digital benefits card and apply your discount when you are at the venue.

For more information, visit your RACP Member Advantage website or call 1300 853 352.

*Terms and conditions apply.

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